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D.J. Hayden will make preseason debut for Raiders Friday

D.J. Hayden AP

It’s been a long road to recovery for Oakland Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden since an injury to his heart suffered during his senior season at the University of Houston nearly cost him his life.

But the Raiders took a leap of faith in making Hayden a first-round draft pick in April. Friday night against the Chicago Bears he’ll play in live game-action for the first time since his injury.

I’m looking forward to my first NFL game. Can’t wait to get out there and play,” Hayden said, via Josh Dubow of the Associated Press. “I want to go ahead and shake the rust off. Get wet a little bit. Can’t wait.”

Hayden was injured during a practice in November and required emergency surgery to save his life. He had an additional surgery in May to clear scar tissue from the initial surgery. That procedure kept Hayden sidelined for the start of training camp and limited to a red “no-contact” jersey until last Sunday.

Hayden participated in pregame warm-ups last week against the New Orleans Saints but wasn’t able to play. Now the Raiders are looking forward to finally seeing the player they drafted get to work.

“I just want to see him play football,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “It’s been a while since he’s really had an opportunity to go out and play real football. I’m looking forward to watching him. He’s done some really good things in this camp. He’s got exceptional coverage skills. I think everyone is anxious to see when he has his first real live contact.”

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20 Responses to “D.J. Hayden will make preseason debut for Raiders Friday”
  1. bombayjon says: Aug 23, 2013 2:40 AM

    Best of luck, DJ. Raider Nation is behind you!

  2. 302baller says: Aug 23, 2013 2:54 AM

    I wish this kid the best, but he’s seems kind of small and fragile. I think the Raiders are reaching and essentially wasting another pic. This franchise is whittling away to nothing.

  3. cantstanzi25 says: Aug 23, 2013 2:55 AM

    hes a plain and simple “playmaker” and we need him on the field on opening day im glad hes going to get a chance to play just to get out there and get the butterflys out the way…Im really looking forward to watching DJ and the raiders compete in 2013 i have feeling playoffs are in sights this season

  4. joetoronto says: Aug 23, 2013 4:06 AM

    He could go down as yet another great Raiders CB, time will tell.

    All the best, kid.

  5. mykul77 says: Aug 23, 2013 4:28 AM

    It won’t be easy against Brandon Marshall. Good luck young man.

  6. bluewinger says: Aug 23, 2013 7:38 AM

    PFW mag had this guy going in the 4-5 round randge. He ends up in the first round with the Raiders. DA!

  7. williamwallacewouldhavebeenaraider says: Aug 23, 2013 8:20 AM

    Awesome!!!

  8. ingraven says: Aug 23, 2013 8:46 AM

    FINALLY!!!

  9. tooz72 says: Aug 23, 2013 9:23 AM

    1st step to the Hall Of Fame

  10. sprtsfan1 says: Aug 23, 2013 9:47 AM

    Just saw this story on ESPN. God bless this kid! What a comeback story! He’s playing my Bears but I hope he does great! Good luck to you DJ!

  11. radrntn says: Aug 23, 2013 9:51 AM

    Looking forward to cheering you onto the field tonight DJ as you make your way out of the tunnel to the sounds of hells bell for the first time…GO Raiders!

  12. mullman76 says: Aug 23, 2013 10:19 AM

    Time will tell.

    Go Raiders

  13. 509seahawks says: Aug 23, 2013 10:33 AM

    Can’t stand the raiders but am pulling for this guy to do big things.

  14. raider8er says: Aug 23, 2013 10:49 AM

    Good luck. Even Raider Haters are wishing well. Good sportsmanship folks. Cheers! Now let’s all see if the kid can play.

  15. slick50ks says: Aug 23, 2013 10:58 AM

    This will not end well.

  16. atleastimnotaraidersfan says: Aug 23, 2013 11:34 AM

    cantstanzi25 says: Aug 23, 2013 2:55 AM

    “…Im really looking forward to watching DJ and the raiders compete in 2013 i have feeling playoffs are in sights this season”
    ——————————
    1st of all, good luck to Hayden. But playoffs?! The Raiders are much closer to the #1 draft pick than they are to the playoffs. Get real. Delusion keeps this fan base alive, I swear.

  17. johnstone17 says: Aug 23, 2013 12:03 PM

    First let me say to those that are not Raider fans that are wishing DJ the best, thank you from Raider nation. Good to see that there is some class left in the world. To those that refer to PFW or any other publication for the value placed on a player coming out of college: Just send your money my way. I’ll make up some garbage about every player in the draft.

  18. Captain Chaos says: Aug 23, 2013 12:48 PM

    If you don’t support this kid you are a human without a heart.

  19. MyTeamsAllStink says: Aug 23, 2013 2:12 PM

    I think this kid will be great and having Charles Woodson as a mentor will only make him a better player.

  20. raiderapologist says: Aug 23, 2013 9:50 PM

    slick50ks says: Aug 23, 2013 10:58 AM

    This will not end well.
    —————-
    That is the story of the Kansas City Chiefs since 1970.
    Go trim your mullet.

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